Created By: ccoa on April 13, 2012 Last Edited By: ccoa on April 18, 2012
Troped

Weapon Twirling

A character spins his or her weapon in order to look cool.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
It's well known that when it comes to fictional fight scenes, what looks exciting and cool is far more important than what would be effective in real life. That's where Weapon Twirling comes in, because Everything Is Better With Spinning. It's visually interesting and looks like it may be difficult to pull off, and is thus cool. It's also used when a character would otherwise be standing idly, since someone just standing around with a weapon isn't as interesting as that person doing fancy tricks with that weapon.

In some instances, spinning weapons are used to block projectiles or create wind attacks.

In fencing and sabre, spinning your sword is called a moulinet, and is used to move a parry to a circular cut, although you'll rarely see it used this way in fiction. It is also used to warm up before a match, which may be where creators got the idea.

Outside of special circumstances, however, spinning your weapon tends to leave you open to attacks, since your control of your weapon is compromised. Deconstructions and parodies will have the fancy twirling interrupted with an attack to demonstrate this.

If the weapon twirling is being used show off before an attack, probably with the intent to intimidate, it's also Intimidation Demonstration. Can also overlap with Unorthodox Sheathing.

Supertrope of Gun Twirling. Subtrope of Everything's Better with Spinning.


Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
  • Soul Eater: Every single Meister in this series seems to love doing this. It may or may not aid with Soul Resonance or not, but it sure looks cool and eats up a few seconds of screen time.
  • In Bleach the third seat of squad 8 tries to intimidate Chad with some quick swordplay, and just gets punched in the face.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Live-Action]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
  • On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy would often twirl a stake for effect.
  • Whenever there are swords out on Merlin, somebody twirls one at least once.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]] [[/folder]]


Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • April 13, 2012
    ScanVisor

  • April 13, 2012
    HyperTurbina
    In {{Avatar: The Last Airbender}}, Aang is fond of doing this.
  • April 13, 2012
    MarySue911
    [[folder:Anime and Manga]]
    • Soul Eater: Every single Meister in this series seems to love doing this. It may or may not aid with Soul Resonance or not, but it sure looks cool and eats up a few seconds of screen time.
  • April 13, 2012
    chicagomel
    Real life: Don't US Marines do this during parade drills with rifles?
  • April 13, 2012
    Darenix
    Video G Ames: In the MMORPG City Of Heroes, The Dual Pistols power-set does this after every attack. And when you draw your pistols. and when you change their damage type...
  • April 13, 2012
    nman
  • April 13, 2012
    ccoa
    Actually, it appears to be a subtrope of Intimidation Demonstration. Will bring that up in the TRS thread and see if it is distinct enough to make separate.
  • April 13, 2012
    zarpaulus
    • The infamous scene in Raiders Of The Lost Ark where a swordsman shows off and Indy just shoots him.

    • In Bleach the third seat of squad 8 tries to intimidate Chad with some quick swordplay, and just gets punched in the face.
  • April 13, 2012
    nman
    ^^Hmm, but thinking on it, this wouldn't be a subtrope as it's not always used to intimidate. Perhaps this trope could be about cases where a weapon is twirled, regardless of why, and the cases of weapon twirling that are also used for intimidation would just show up in Intimidation Demonstration as well.

    Also, if you want to make a subtrope of this for swords, I thought of a name: "Superfluous Sword Swinging".
  • April 13, 2012
    ccoa
    If there are enough sword examples to split into another subtrope, I will surely use that name. ^_^

    That^ seems to be what is being said in the TRS thread. Intimidation Demonstration is defined as before combat, while this can be at any time. There's overlap, but they do appear to be distinct.

    I will add that to the description.
  • April 13, 2012
    KZN02
    Maybe involved with Unorthodox Sheathing?
  • April 13, 2012
    Alvin
    Live-Action TV: In an episode of Sledge Hammer, Sledge twirls his gun right after telling a kid a gun is not a toy.
  • April 13, 2012
    randomsurfer
    The expression for doing this with a sword is "moulinet."
  • April 14, 2012
    ccoa
    ^^ That's Gun Twirling. If it's not already on that page, please add it.

    ^ Interesting, that turns up lots of information. I'll see about integrating it into the article. Thanks.
  • April 14, 2012
    Diask
  • April 14, 2012
    JonnyB
    • ignore*
  • April 14, 2012
    Dacilriel
    You mention twirling to block projectiles and create wind attacks as part of this trope. So is this trope for any instance of twirling a weapon practical uses included, or is it primarily for superfluous spinning that's done for appearances?

    Re the Avatar The Last Airbender example: Aang almost always uses spinning practically for attacking or deflection since Airbending is rooted in using circular movements to evade an attacker. However, when he first tries to face Hebi, Aang twirls his staff and poses dramatically because he is trying to be formal and impressive.

    This is largely a staple for Magical Girl shows.
  • April 17, 2012
    PJHoutman
    Revolver Ocelot of Metal Gear Solid does this A LOT.
  • April 17, 2012
    Dawnwing
  • April 17, 2012
    Bonnia
    [[folder: Video Games]]
    • Yosuke from Persona 4 does this while in battle and in the opening animation. It backfires when he nearly drops his dagger in both.
  • April 18, 2012
    ccoa
    @Dacilriel Primarily for spinning the weapon, period. As randomsurfer pointed out and I'm editing in right now, there is a semi-practical fencing move that many of the sword spins that look useless are based on.

    Spinning to make wind attacks and spinning to block projectiles could potentially be spun off into tropes of their own.
  • April 18, 2012
    Larek
    One of my favorite instances of this is Tessai slow spinning / juggling a huge double sided sword staff in the Anime Ninja Scroll.
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